[tweetmeme source=”frontpoint” only_single=false] Last winter was a weather wake-up call for parts of the US. Certainly that was the case here in DC, with our very own “Snowpocalypse” – though I also liked the name, “snOMG.” Since we are near that time of year, I’ve been researching tips for winterizing your home – be it your primary residence, or vacation retreat – and have a couple to recommend, along with helpful information about wireless home alarm technology that can back up your efforts, and provide additional peace of mind.
The first list comes from Chubb Personal Insurance, and includes warnings on the effects of ice, wind, and snow, while drawing attention to your roof, pipes, and heating system. It may seem counter-intuitive, but they advise keeping your attic cool, since a cooler attic actually reduces ice build-up. Of course, what we like best on the Chubb site is the following instruction:
Install a low temperature alarm if you are away often. These devices activate your alarm system if the home temperature falls below a pre-set level.
Another source of good advice is the MSN Real Estate site. They mention keeping gutters clear, so melt water can drain, plus adding insulation, and several more standard measures. And yes, there’s one that catches our eye:
This is a great time to check the operation — and change the batteries — on your home’s smoke detectors. Test them — older ones in particular — with a small bit of actual smoke, and not just by pressing the “test” button. Check to see that your fire extinguisher is still where it should be, and still works. Also, invest in a carbon-monoxide detector: every home should have at least one.
It would be better if they had recommended the use of monitored wireless smoke and heat sensors, but at least they did address carbon monoxide sensors. This is the season for furnaces to act up, and also when the portable heaters come out – and the latter deserve special attention (read this blog for what can happen).
As for environmental sensors, a full list includes wireless freeze sensors to help you make sure that you’re not at risk for frozen pipes. These sensors trigger an alarm when the temperature hits a certain threshold. For freeze sensors, that level is 41 degrees; well before the water in pipes would actually freeze. Flood sensors work hand in hand with freeze sensors in case frozen pipes do burst. Wireless flood sensors monitor water conditions in the home, so many of our customers place them near their water heaters and sump pumps. And of course, with FrontPoint’s 100% cellular monitoring, you never have to worry about your phone line being down – or cut.
It’s getting easier to find interactive monitoring (the kind that FrontPoint specializes in) so you get an e-mail or text message when your alarm system senses that drop in temperature, or a water condition. Especially at vacation homes, or when you are traveling, it’s impossible to react immediately to frozen pipes and flooding. To learn more, here’s a link to the FrontPoint podcast on winterizing – and we warmly encourage you to stay safe – and toasty – this winter.